March 21


The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, was burned at the stake as a heretic.


The French civil code, the Code Napoleon, was officially put forth.


Journalist Henry M. Stanley began his trek to find the missionary and explorer David Livingstone.


Police fired on demonstrators in Sharpeville, South Africa, after which the African National Congress was banned. 25 years later, a march marking the anniversary was also disrupted by police fire.


Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay, a harsh maximum security jail which once housed gangster Al Capone, closed.


Martin Luther King, Jr., led the start of a civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.


The House of Representatives passes a bill that will overhaul the American health-care system. The bill, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will be sent to President Obama to sign into law.

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